Jacob was a liar and a thief.
He lied about who he was. At a crossroads in his life, God wrestled with Jacob all night to a standstill. He blessed Jacob calling him "God-Wrestler," that is, "Israel." Jacob left the encounter blessed but he also left limping. (Genesis 32:22-31)
This is the encounter of faith. It is holy and good, a time to be blessed. It is also a fight, a striving, a tussle. To follow God is a fight for our hearts and minds with the one who makes all things new.
Welcome to Jacob's Porch. We invite you to join us in striving with God in community. May you leave blessed and may you leave limping.
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Jacob’s Porch is a Lutheran campus ministry at the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. In the footsteps of our namesake, we seek the encounter of faith as a wrestling match, an event that challenges us with all that we have, that leaves us unsettled. We seek to bring this understanding of faith to all that we do, including singing together in worship.
The five full-band hymns on this album were each written during a Jacob’s Porch Advance. An Advance is a lot like a retreat, except that it is called an Advance because it is a time to advance (not retreat) in our relationships with God, others, and ourselves. At Advances we typically split up into different affinity groups based on our interests in order to create something to bring back to the community as a whole. One of these groups is the music group. Each of these five hymns were written by music affinity groups between 2012 and 2016, and include the contributions of countless people. These hymns reflect and remind us not only of the multitude of wrestling matches that happened in our community during that time, but of the worship inherent in the exuberant act of creating music together.
There are other hymns in this album of hymns, though. Some come to us via the Jacob’s Porch poetry night, where anyone is welcome to read poetry, perform songs, tell stories, recite monologues, give presentations, or share art in any other form. The artists featured here leave these hymns as one of their many marks on this place. Another hymn comes to us from a past leader in our community who helped define Jacob’s Porch and our music as much as we have also redefined it. They leave this hymn as one of their many marks on this place. And another comes to us from a different community of faith, across the ocean. It has found a home in this place next to the wax-dripped candles, old couches, and expectant twilight.
Jacob’s Porch is named not just for the Jacob of the Bible, but also for a porch: a small, simple structure that one passes through on the way from one place to another, whether arriving or departing. We can linger on the porch for a while, but we cannot make our home there. It is a temporary place. Some of the 18 musicians who can be heard on this album have already departed for other places and, eventually, all will go. But although we all must go, we do not leave empty-handed. Nor do we leave the same as we began. We each leave something behind and we each take something along with us.
We pray that these hymns can be both something left behind something taken, and that, in being so, they point back to this place, to the limp and the blessing, and so back to God.
released August 28, 2016
all songs written and performed by Jacob's Porch except:
"All Will Go" written by Jay Gamelin and performed by Yuki Mineoi
"10 Things I Know to be True" written and performed by Hannah McCorkle
"Wash Away" written and performed by Grace Crumrine
"Gospel Song (JP Version)" written and performed by Kyle Kerley
"Within Our Darkest Night" (physical album only) © 1991, Les Presses de Taizé, GIA Publications Inc. agent
album photo by Adam Elkins Photography
recorded and produced by Kyle Kerley
Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.